Innovation and Management in Tourism
Innovation and Management in Tourism
-Education in the European Tourist Sector-
Date du début: 1 sept. 2015,
Date de fin: 31 août 2017
• The unusually rapid increase of travelers to Iceland has made the tourist industry vulnerable. The increase has been about 20% annually over the last 3 years. But tourism is not just increasing in Iceland, other countries seem to be experiencing the same trend, making the need for diversity in education for people working in the field of tourism urgent.
• Another issue, equally important, that will be addressed is the high turnover of people working in the field of tourism. This is a known fact that has the disadvantage for the companies of always having to train new people with additional cost in both time and money. Study made by the Icelandic Tourist Board has shown the need for shorter education programs for people with limited education, working in the field. These programs would encourage them to stay in the industry by focusing on developing professional, communicational and inter-cultural skills and thereby anchoring workers in this rapidly growing industry.
• Although tourism education has an established history, it has not been as common to focus on the less educated people working in the field at any given time. Also when it comes to developing the curriculum, the conversation with the industry (i.e. the companies working in the field) regarding what they really need, is sometimes missing. Therefore the main focus will be on involving the companies working in the tourist industry with the project as a direct participant in developing a program for people working in the field of tourism. One of the main issue to address is to develop a program that can be added to a full-time workers current schedule. The program should educate and enhance current skills and therefore increase job satisfaction. This collaboration will enable their current staff to participate in the program courses; first in the pilot project and after that, the continuous program. To do this we want to use as a part of our teaching methods the PBL model “problem based learning”. It is a new and innovative way of approaching the material as well as the students, as it engages them in challenging problems and encourages them to work collaboratively towards their solution. In relation to other projects carried out, all the participants except UCSI in Iceland, are currently running tourism education programs at their organizations although all with very different approach.
• The University Centre of the South (Iceland) is the project coordinator and the project leader is a D-certified MPM, currently preparing his masters dissertation and will use the progress and result of this project as material for that thesis.
Both partners chosen by the Icelandic coordinators/UCSI come from well-known education establishments. Both the University of Malaga and the University of Highlands and Islands run high quality tourism education courses at BS and MA level.
• The first IO will be to establish a concrete platform in each country that includes members from the industry. The aim is to use this platform for sharing ideas on best practices and decide on the most relevant topics to focus on. This platform will provide an overview of current situation in each participating country, mapping the potential programs to best reach the people working in the tourist industry. • The second IO will be a fully qualified and tested teaching program of the “one year diploma course for people working in the tourism industry” ready for the project partners to continue teaching as well as all other interested educational organizations. • The third IO will be two peer reviewed articles about the progress and work performed in the project. Both articles will be written after the pilot program has finished and will emphasize on the conclusion of the project, its dissemination and its prospect for sustainability as stated in the projects full report. Both articles will include Erasmus+ sponsorship information and disclaimer. • In terms of methodology we believe that by establishing a platform with relevant companies in the tourism industry in each region participating in the project, we will open up the dialogue between the industry and education organizations.
By running a pilot program, the alliance of educators and industry will be sealed even further. The industry will send their staff to partake in the pilot program and through the platform monitor the work. The courses run in the pilot program will educate and enhance current skills and therefore increase job satisfaction. That should eventually reduce staff turnover and make the industry more stable. • This project will educate workers currently working in the tourist field, in close collaboration with the companies. We believe that with the work done in this project, we can meet these workers where the need is. This will in return get the employees more committed to the companies they work for witch will result in higher service level and reduce staff turnover and increase the industries profit.
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